Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Manta parts worth $615 million to Indonesian tourism industry intercepted

The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society’s) Wildlife Crimes Unit have made their largest seizure of manta ray gills and arrested one person. The 103kg of gill plates represented 85 manta rays and each was worth $7.8 million to the Indonesian dive industry over its lifetime.

The raid took place on 7th November when officials, working on part of a larger investigation, at a house near to the Pengambengan Negara fisheries landing area in Bali.

The latest raid follows on from follows three arrests earlier this month and in October involving illegal trade of manta ray meat and gill plates, sawfish snouts, and sea turtle meat.

While the financial loss of the 85 rays to the fisheries industry has been put at $20,000 by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries it is the loss to the tourism industry that really shows the devastation that poachers and illegal fisheries are having on the country.

The 103 kg of gill plates is thought to have come from about 85 individual manta rays. Each manta ray would normally live for 40 years in the wild and are a major tourist draw bringing in divers from across the world to swim with these amazing fish.

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